Theater The Unluckiest Show in Seattle
posted by May 20 at 10:42 AMon
Pity the poor Nebunele Theater company—not only does it have a name nobody can ever remember how to say, Nebu-whatever-you-call-it is currently running Medea Knows Best, the unluckiest show in Seattle.
But maybe that’s what you get for adapting Medea as a musical comedy.
A litany of the company’s woes, beginning with the first production—a workshop of their Greek-murder-musical-comedy—last winter:
• Freehold botched the theater rental1, making them cut the run short.
• The production designer stopped returning phone calls and vanished. He later explained he was having a midlife crisis. (He eventually returned.)
• The live musician/composer quit because he, according to co-author and actor Alissa Mortenson (she’s the blonde above), “didn’t like some people in the show.”
• “Then I got dumped by a boy I was in love with,” Mortenson said. “And the same thing happened to two other people in the show.”
• For the second Seattle production this month, Velocity botched the theater rental2 forcing Medea to relocate to CHAC. (That was after all the press releases with the original dates and times had already been sent.)
• The noise at CHAC: “Who knew that so many of CHAC’s events involve loud, live-dj thumpy-thumpy?,” Mortenson asked. (Hate to break it to you, Alissa, but that’s not exactly a secret. Still.) “Ever asked a master mixer to turn the music down just a tiny bit because there’s a quiet little play happening in the non-soundproofed room next door? Then you have seen the scornful face of death.”
• Other problems with CHAC’s upstairs theater (which is run by a dance company called Walrus): its dimensions were smaller than reported, so the set wouldn’t fit; it lacked some of the equipment (curtains, etc.) that Mortenson thought it’d have.
• Another designer, another midlife crisis.
• The actor playing Creon (Mortenson describes him as “older, somewhat infirm, and eccentric”) said that performing during the recent heat wave nearly killed him. “I don’t want to die in that theater,” Mortenson said he said. So he quit. The company found found a last-minute replacement, who …
• … promptly broke up with his girlfriend.
“They’re all more or less disasters averted,” Mortenson said gamely. “The show is still going on. But the next thing I want to do is one-woman show.”
1 Or maybe Nebulene botched. Anyway, botching happened.
2 Because Velocity lost its theaters when Ted Scroth bought Oddfellows and, in the confusion, neglected to tell Mortenson.